I have a pure math degree and will go for a masters program in applied/computational math. Is becoming a quant worth trying in my situation?

Hi I'm graduating with a pure math major in some ivy league institution in the US. I think I have strong courseworks (bunch of pure math courses ranging analysis and algebra, including elliptic PDE and measure theoretic probabilitu theory and four grad level courses) and decent gpa(3.75) but they are almost all pure math courses. I also have taken two programming related courses in Java but do not have legitimate projects to present in my resume. Now, I do not have any research experience nor internship experience during all my four years due to some personal reasons. I am going to masters program to compensate this. I was fortunately accepted to applied/computational math masters program into highly reputable institution(#6 in US news if that's relevant). Here, the said school is located in Chicago and I am able to take a lot of statistics courses. In general, there is a lot of flexibility. I originally intended to pursue PhD specializing in PDE but the idea of becoming a quant also attracts me. Do you think it is possible to land a career in finance with my background right out of masters degree? Why or why not? If so, do you have any advice for me?
 
C++ and Python
Parabolic PDE
Good numerics.
Thank you for your reply! If you don't mind, could you elaborate a little? What role should I look into in my situation? I'm sorry if this question is too general. The more I learn about quant, the more I believe it suits my area of interests. It is still fine if you are busy, but I would appreciate any of your insight!
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I am not the best person for this but all I can say is you have a fighting chance with the above topics.

My new pde is out, might be useful to look at TOC. It's PDE A-Z for finance.


see also www.datasim.nl

let me know if any queries.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
are almost all pure math courses

That's fine, but I would focus now on "applied pure maths" aka numerical maths.
 
I am not the best person for this but all I can say is you have a fighting chance with the above topics.

My new pde is out, might be useful to look at TOC. It's PDE A-Z for finance.


see also www.datasim.nl

let me know if any queries.
Thank you for your advice. The table of contents looks interesting! Is it possible to "specialize" in PDE for a quant role?
Indeed in my program I will be expected to take some machine learning, optimization, and computation courses.
As electives, I have an option to take
o Scientific Computing with Python
o Applied Analysis
o Applied Partial Differential Equations
o Applied Fourier Analysis
o Inverse Problems and Data Assimilation
o Monte Carlo Simulation
o Multivariate Data Analysis via Matrix Decompositions
o Mathematical Computation III: Numerical Methods for PDEs
o Numerical Methods for Stochastic Differential Equations
o Stochastic Processes in Gene Regulation
o Variational Methods in Image Processing
o Inverse Problems and Imaging
o Topological Data Analysis
o Topics in Random Matrix Theory
o Stochastic Calculus
o Measure Theoretic Probability (sequence)
o Modern Inference
May I ask, if you don't mind, what courses I might consider taking? These look interesting to me but I haven't been exposed to applied math topics.
Thank you so much!!
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
PDE is kind of specialised, indeed. And in C++.

From your list, I think this shortlist .. getting a job is never a guarantee of course.

My 2 cents
o Scientific Computing with Python (and C++)
o Monte Carlo Simulation
o Mathematical Computation III: Numerical Methods for PDEs
o Numerical Methods for Stochastic Differential Equations
o Stochastic Calculus
o Modern Inference

lots of statistics I suppose as well.
 
PDE is kind of specialised, indeed. And in C++.

From your list, I think this shortlist .. getting a job is never a guarantee of course.

My 2 cents
o Scientific Computing with Python (and C++)
o Monte Carlo Simulation
o Mathematical Computation III: Numerical Methods for PDEs
o Numerical Methods for Stochastic Differential Equations
o Stochastic Calculus
o Modern Inference

lots of statistics I suppose as well.
Thank you!! This is extremely helpful!
For this summer, I have an option to take
1. econometrics (prerequisite is some knowledge in statistics and multivariable calculus, and this is from economics department)
2. intro to statistical computing (using R)
3. Linear regression

Which one would you recommend, if you don't mind me asking? Thank you again for your insight!
 
Hi I'm graduating with a pure math major in some ivy league institution in the US. I think I have strong courseworks (bunch of pure math courses ranging analysis and algebra, including elliptic PDE and measure theoretic probabilitu theory and four grad level courses) and decent gpa(3.75) but they are almost all pure math courses. I also have taken two programming related courses in Java but do not have legitimate projects to present in my resume. Now, I do not have any research experience nor internship experience during all my four years due to some personal reasons. I am going to masters program to compensate this. I was fortunately accepted to applied/computational math masters program into highly reputable institution(#6 in US news if that's relevant). Here, the said school is located in Chicago and I am able to take a lot of statistics courses. In general, there is a lot of flexibility. I originally intended to pursue PhD specializing in PDE but the idea of becoming a quant also attracts me. Do you think it is possible to land a career in finance with my background right out of masters degree? Why or why not? If so, do you have any advice for me?
It is definitely possible to get into quant coming out of a masters - this is one of the more commonly traveled paths. Although I would seriously put a lot of effort into getting internships during the semester or summer (preferably both). This is a competitive market, you will have the education on your side, but that is only half.
 
It is definitely possible to get into quant coming out of a masters - this is one of the more commonly traveled paths. Although I would seriously put a lot of effort into getting internships during the semester or summer (preferably both). This is a competitive market, you will have the education on your side, but that is only half.
Thank you for your answer. Do you mean doing an internships for quant position ? Is there any alternative for someone like me who hasn't had any experience, such as working first as a software engineering/data science?

In order to get an internship I'm thinking of building portfolio/side project and learn to code over the summer, while taking Statistics courses in my school before graduation in summer. Do you think it is a right way to go? Thanks again!
 
Thank you for your answer. Do you mean doing an internships for quant position ? Is there any alternative for someone like me who hasn't had any experience, such as working first as a software engineering/data science?

In order to get an internship I'm thinking of building portfolio/side project and learn to code over the summer, while taking Statistics courses in my school before graduation in summer. Do you think it is a right way to go? Thanks again!
Quant internships are obviously the most relevant work experience to working in quant, but other internships will be attractive. The bottom line, you need an internship that will showcase your ability to excel in a quantitative career. This includes internships that expose you to coding, commonly used tech software, math, problem solving, research, etc. There are several paths of interest that will let you work on the necessary projects: general research internships, dev, quant dev, engineering, data science, .... It can be a pretty long list.

If you are weak in coding - make that a big focus. Regardless of the position in quant, I do not know if weak programming skills will get you anywhere. Definitely push to find some work experience this summer. I would refrain from being unnecessarily selective, the biggest thing for you is getting a position on your resume. Summer classes help but work is more important in my opinion.
 
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